Beer executive Peter Coors and former U.S. representative Bob Schaffer held their first debate Monday as part of the Colorado GOP Senate race, with both promising to bring morality to government. Coors said he will follow the Ten Commandments--"The Big Ten, I call them"--when deciding if legislation is fair. Coors took a strong stance against same-sex marriage, saying he supports a constitutional amendment to effectively ban the possibility. Previously Coors said he supported the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman but was not sure it belonged in the U.S. Constitution. He also helped win benefits for gay workers at his family's Golden, Colo., brewery.
The race is being watched nationally because it could help decide control of the Senate, where Republicans hold a 51-48 majority, with one Democratic-leaning independent. The seat will be open because GOP senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, who was considered a lock for reelection, abruptly announced his retirement earlier this year, citing health concerns. John Straayer, a Colorado State University political science professor, said both candidates are focusing on the conservative core of the Republican Party.